ALBANY – Better mountain views. Displays of vintage cars. More energy-efficient terminals. Less-congested waiting areas. Airports across upstate New York, including in Albany, Saratoga and the Adirondacks, are getting a big lift, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday.
At the Greater Binghamton Airport, the governor announced $230 million in awards to nine upstate airports for revitalization projects, according to a press release. The funding comes from the Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition, which aims to promote, revitalize and accelerate investments in upstate commercial passenger service airports by soliciting innovative project ideas from airports, according to the release.
The release details the following projects for Capital Region and Adirondack airports:
Albany International Airport received $60 million for the expansion of the airport’s terminal, which will provide enhanced passenger amenities pre- and post-checkpoint and more efficient passenger flow through security. The updates include a modern business center outside security for conferences and community gathering spaces to alleviate congestion. The project will also expand the security checkpoint queue. Inside the security checkpoint, the project will create additional retail space, a children’s play zone, a multi-sensory calming room, and an outdoor green space. In addition, the project will improve the facility’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system, for enhanced indoor air quality and filtration, according to the release.
The Saratoga County Airport in Ballston Spa received $27 million for the construction of a new energy-efficient terminal, with modern amenities that provide a first-class user experience and design elements that reflect the character of the region. The new building’s first floor will provide two passenger waiting areas, a multimedia conference room, and a cafe and ice cream counter that will open onto a courtyard with outdoor access. The lobby area will feature a display space for automobiles from the Saratoga Automobile Museum, while the second floor will provide space for pilots as well as a restaurant area and an exhibit area for local artists. The hangar portion of the building will be finished with aged, reclaimed wood to mirror the look of the many Saratoga County horse and agricultural barns, while a solar array on top of the hangar roof will help reduce the airport’s collective carbon footprint.
The Adirondack Regional Airport in Saranac Lake received $8.5 million for revitalization of the terminal building. The project will expand the central receiving area for better flow, and it will bring in LED lighting and new signage to make for easier navigation to the gate, cafe and the parking facility. Inside the checkpoint, the area will be reconfigured to provide more space for passengers, and an outer wall with large windows will be constructed, bringing in more natural light and providing a view of the airfield and the surrounding Adirondack peaks. Additionally, the project entails relocation and expansion of the cafe and various HVAC enhancements.
“Our upstate airports are our gateways to local economies and make lasting impressions, connecting New Yorkers and tourists to the beautiful destinations that the Empire State has to offer,” Hochul said in the release. “By making critical investments to further modernize facilities across upstate New York, we are lifting upstate airports to new heights and providing a 21st century transportation experience that travelers expect and deserve.”
Airports in Watertown, Syracuse, Rochester, Ogdensburg and Sullivan County also received funding.
The Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition was administered by the New York State Department of Transportation and was open to upstate commercial passenger service airports and airports providing specialized service for commercial aircraft and/or corporate jets. Applicants were encouraged to apply for funding a single project or a program of projects that will help meet the demands of the 21st century.
Projects were evaluated based on established criteria, including innovation in design, passenger amenities and experience, operational efficiencies and economic effectiveness for the airport’s region.
“As we continue to modernize our transportation network across the state, these investments will significantly improve the passenger experience and operations of facilities across the state, helping to ensure an efficient flow of people and goods, and continued economic activity across all upstate communities,” New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said in the release.
Andrew Waite can be reached at [email protected] and at 518-417-9338. Follow him on Twitter @UpstateWaite.